Best Shampoo

Title Baseball
Agency Leo Burnett, Chicago
Creative director Marlena Peleo-Lazar
Group creative director Walt Mayes
Shampoo advertising is not exactly a category that exudes originality and award-winning creativity, which is why this funny 30-second ad for Prell from Leo Burnett stands out. Borrowing a page from the Bull Durham playbook, the spot takes place on a pitcher’s mound in the middle of a tense game. ‘I just don’t think this perm looks natural,’ says the troubled pitcher. ‘Perm? You think you’ve got problems,’ replies the catcher, removing his cap. ‘Take a look at these split ends.’ The voiceover breaks in with a temporary note of seriousness – ‘Men don’t really talk about their hair’ – that disappears when the coach calls for a reliever because, ‘He’s got those nice highlights.’ Such sentiments coming from the mouths of hulking ballplayers sends up perfectly the slice-of-life seriousness that fills most shampoo advertising. It also captures the irrelevance of such issues to men. ‘There’s Prell,’ concludes the voiceover. ‘We’re just talking clean.’
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)